Connecting Youth with Their Full Potential

MARLON PARKER

 RLabs, South Africa

 

THE PROBLEM

In Cape Flats Township of Cape Town, South Africa, youth poverty and unemployment remain major causes for organized crimes, drug abuse, and violence. A large part of the young residents have dropped out of school and associate themselves with gang groups, where significant case of drug abuse and crime happen. The youth have no access to their basic needs to change their lives.

 

THE SOLUTION 

RLabs is a social enterprise that strives to make hope contagious, impacting more than 5.5 million individuals globally in 22 countries by reconstructing communities through training, innovation and entrepreneurship. RLabs Uses information technology as a medium to reach out to vulnerable youth and help them design practical technology-based solutions that address social challenges in their communities. The various components of the program helps the youth to improve their employability, create opportunities for self-employment, and to allow them to regain a sense of belonging in their communities.

 

 THE IMPACT

  • Operates in 22 countries,
  • 53,955 graduates
  • 5,517,652 lives impacted,
  • 80,244 economically empowered
  • Rlabs, “Stories Of Hope” festival has reached 8 million people through various social media platforms.

       

  LESSON LEARNED

 

Allow youth to use their full potential. The program offers an innovative learning program in which students engage in setting up and leading the curriculum themselves.

 

Incubation. RLabs serves as a start-up incubator by creating the incentive for youth to own digital currency which they can spend on local shops run by students, and at the same time improve their business management skills.

 

Access to Space and Facilities. RLabs provides access to Youth Cafes, a vibrant space with FREE Internet, great cafe menu, access to opportunities and skills training programmes.

 

Engaging youth beyond. RLabs has its own radio program led by members, designed for better community outreach and youth engagement.

 

Youth - to youth Mentorship. RLabs provides the means for graduates of the program to serve as facilitators and to mentor new members on diverse self and professional development skills.

 

http://www.rlabs.org/impact/

 

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“I call it a journey of tremendous growth within all aspects of my life, RLabs is a beacon of hope and transformation in the lives of people.” ~ Rabia Adamson ~